It led to bans for the captain, vice-captain and a third key batsman, and prompted coach Darren Lehmann to say he was quitting.
Unfortunately, South Africa will not play Test cricket again until mid-July when they travel to Sri Lanka for a two-Test series. "Obviously it (the ball-tampering episode) had more of an effect on guys than probably we knew ourselves".
"We nearly went from motivated to motivated (and) angry".
Not even the best plaster can paper over the enormity of the victory, the cracks in Australia's wafer-thin batting and how ruthless the Proteas were on Morné Morkel's last morning of Test cricket.
"That was embarrassing. It was disappointing".
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Nevertheless, Paine said the Australians accepted an invitation from the South Africans to have a beer in the home team's dressing room next door, a chance for opponents to ease the tension of an ill-tempered monthlong series that was marred by numerous unsavory moments, not just the cheating scandal.
The Handscomb wicket was his 50th against Australia, but he wasn't done.
"Everyone stood up", Du Plessis said after the fourth Test.
Australia went down by a mammoth 492 runs as they head home with their tails firmly between their legs after a desperate series that looks to have done lasting damage to the team in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.
Skipper Faf du Plessis had soldiered on through a nasty finger injury to notch a hundred on day four, to guide the hosts to a commanding position. "They went nearly from motivated to motivated-slash-angry and they were determined to turn it around".
Having batted Australia out of the game, South Africa had robbed Australia of any hope on day four, setting a mountainous target of 612 after finally declaring on 344/6 in their second innings.
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"Since then, walking on the field for South Africa every time was unbelievable". No Australian made a hundred. Vernon Philander was man of the match and Kagiso Rabada man of the series.
The sorry innings was brought to its conclusion when Nathan Lyon (nine) was run out. Two of their most important players, former skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner have been stricken away from worldwide cricket for a 12-month period due to their involvement in the recent ball-tampering scandal.
Many were wondering whether Morne Morkel would produce an outstanding swansong on his final day as a South Africa Test cricketer, but he was robbed of the limelight by his fellow quick Philander.
"A lot of guys say they don't miss the game, but I'm definitely going to miss it. There was not one day when I did not enjoy coming to nets or warming up, and it was always very special walking on the field for South Africa", Morkel said.
"I enjoyed everything. I would be lying if I said I wasn't going to miss it. I've still got love for the game".
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he still plans to start lefty Jordan Montgomery, instead of moving Luis Severino up a day. In the New York City area, LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports all reported some flight disruptions.